Coming off of the first shootout that Corpus Christi had competed in and won on Friday night, the IceRays went into game two on Saturday night in search of a sweep against Wichita Falls.
The IceRays and Warriors skated at a tied score for most of period number one. The scoreless tie became broken with just over five minutes to go in the first thanks to the stick of Braden Rourke. The goal was the second of the weekend for Rourke who scored a first period goal on Friday evening as well. Corpus Christi took that 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
Period number two saw ups and downs for the Rays starting with a goal from Cole Helm, his second of the season, just under three minutes into the period. The two goal lead became a three goal lead three minutes later when the IceRays were on the man-advantage. The third goal of the game and third on the power play on the weekend was scored by Braden Rourke for his second goal of the night.
Three unanswered for Corpus Christi gave themselves a lead in the early second period. This was not the only stretch of the game where a team had three unanswered with Wichita Falls responding with three of their own to even things up at three heading into intermission.
The final frame of regulation brought dramatics once again between the two teams. It was the IceRays striking first in period number three with Braden Rourke collecting his third goal of the evening. Rourke’s hat trick is the first from an IceRays player this season. Wichita Falls struck back with the extra attacker on the ice to send the game to overtime again on Saturday.
In overtime, the two teams skated even for the first two minutes at three on three. That is until Lawson-Body, a forward for Wichita Falls, pressured IceRays players in the middle of a change. Stumpel took the puck behind goaltender Stefan Carney. Lawson-Body forced him out from behind the net and got his stick underneath Stumpel’s arm when the Corpus Christi forward got a step on him.
This sent the IceRays to the power play with three minutes to go in extra time. The first minute and a half of penalty kill seemed to be going well for Wichita Falls blocking shots and sending the puck down the length of the ice. As the penalty time was drawing to a close, the IceRays established offensive zone time. Kuznetsov’s first chance was saved, but when he got his second chance, he buried it to give Corpus Christi the win.
The win brought the IceRays a second consecutive streak and extends the win streak to four straight. The pair of wins in Wichita Falls is the first time since March of 2015 that the IceRays won back to back games. In March of 2015, it was wins against Lone Star followed by a once against Wichita Falls. The last time the IceRays swept a series with overtime wins dates back to October of 2010 when the Rays swept New Mexico.
Corpus Christi returns home to face off against Amarillo on Thursday and Friday. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 both nights at American Bank Center.